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Warsaw suspends talks on Polish farmer protests due to ex-agriculture minister corruption suspicions

by Kateryna Hodunova and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 13, 2024 6:37 PM 2 min read
Ukraine's Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi (Ukraine's Agriculture Ministry/Facebook)
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Poland has suspended talks with Ukraine regarding the Polish farmer protests at the countries' shared border over corruption suspicions involving former Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi, Polish Deputy Agriculture Minister  Michal Kolodziejczak told the media outlet Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.

Solskyi is suspected of illegally appropriating Ukrainian state-owned land worth Hr 291 million ($7.3 million) and attempting to seize another plot worth an additional Hr 190 million ($4.8 million), according to Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU).

Ukraine's High Anti-Corruption Court ordered Solskyi's arrest on April 26. He was ordered to be held in custody until June 24, but he posted a Hr 75.7 million ($1.9 million) bail on the same day and was released.

Ukraine's parliament dismissed Solskyi as agriculture minister on May 9.

"Negotiations with Kyiv have been suspended because we will not negotiate with people accused of corruption. This issue must be clarified," Kolodziejczak said in an interview published on May 13.

According to Kolodziejczak, Kyiv and Warsaw planned to conduct another round of negotiations on May 14, but they were canceled.

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Ukraine Weekly By Olga Rudenko

Polish protesters stopped their blockade along the Polish-Ukrainian border on April 29, unblocking the last Hrebenne-Rava-Ruska crossing point. However, restrictions remain for trucks carrying grain to Poland.

Polish farmers began blocking trucks at several border crossings in February in protest of Ukrainian agricultural imports and the EU's Green Deal.

The blockade has led to deteriorating relations between Kyiv and Warsaw. Protestors spilled Ukrainian grain on several occasions, sparking outrage in Ukraine.

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